While Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) would love the chance to schedule lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next fight, everything is at a standstill as the undefeated Russian fighter awaits his Dec. 10 hearing with Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
There, Khabib will find out his punishment for his involvement in UFC 229’s post-fight brawl, in which “Eagle” soared over the Octagon wall to attack Conor McGregor teammate Dillon Danis after choking out “Notorious” in the fourth round. Considering Khabib nearly incited a riot his punishment could end up being a severe one.
UFC president Dana White understands that the NSAC has to send a message so post-fight brawls don’t become a thing of the norm, but he doesn’t believe Nurmagomedov’s actions warrant such a lengthy suspension.
“I can’t see them giving Khabib over a year,” White said in a post-fight scrum following last night’s TUF 28 Finale in Las Vegas. “If it’s over a year, c’mon man. That would not be fair. The whole thing was over in 40 seconds, nobody got touched, nobody got hurt. Nothing happened. I think that the commission has to send a message and I hope it’s not over a year. I don’t think that would be fair.”
Only time will tell what sort of punishment is dished out at the expense of Khabib, who doesn’t seem too concerned with his own fate. UFC would obviously love to see a shortened suspension so they can get Khabib back into the Octagon sooner rather than later, but the promotion can only deal with what is available to it.
“I have a job to do,” White said. “I’ve gotta make fights, no matter who’s here and who’s not. I have to make fights, so I will continue to make fights until we find out what the suspensions are and then when the suspensions are laid down, I will still continue to make fights until they come back.”
If Khabib and McGregor are able to avoid lengthy suspensions, White revealed last night that he’d like to see “Eagle” defend his title against Tony Ferguson and McGregor rematch lightweight contender Dustin Poirier. The winners would then face each other in a 155-pound title fight.